are most interested
in our dares.
A bare bone horse,
the starved city,
he and I
blind to the drop.
dash the love line.
Before the flies welcome
the shatter they gather
where we’ll crash.
All our bodily confetti
prepares to bloom, blood
We tiptoe on,
wind our reckless halo,
The dare begins in the dark at the gate of the farm
where the slightest move may jostle the rooster into doodle-dos.
Boys grunt and shove, doing what they do best. Upon the mud,
the pink pig’s tracks dug like suicidal slices for attention.
Being the only girl is like swimming upstream, watching the faces
of the crowd slide by raucous in their downpour.
Of course I must have thought, thought something useful:
someone will get hurt. Be careful. Make smart choices.
My hands told of my heart, shimmying and damp.
My heart told of my guts, bubbling and unsure,
but girls go into the dark night after night, fraying the deep.
My feet whispered mouse, tip-toed through shadow’s throat.
In my arms like an armful of bony snow, I gathered the leggy
goat that bleated, and tore its eyes at me in worry.
A dream is like this, spontaneous abduction into a stranger’s arms.
I dashed with my animal, swooshing through the darkened field
like a torrent of teenage war. My breath stuttered, like an engine hum,
Warm under my back like when I first kissed the body kiss.
The men took the confused animal, slapped me on the back
in masculine regard. You did it, they whispered cheerfully.
I was breathlessly accomplished until the soft eyelashes
of the goat amended the light and she looked into me,
all questionable fate. She was choosing one thief over the next.
AMANDA CHIADO is still chasing those fancy sleep demons. Her poems keep sprouting up, like delicious little weeds. Her other work is forthcoming or appears in places like Cimarron Review, Casserole, Best New Poets, Fence, and Forklift, Ohio. She works for your golden smile, your tender hello and does it while chasing a baby!